X-Message-Number: 10989
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #10968 - #10973
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 22:44:10 +1100 (EST)

Hi everyone!

To Bob Ettinger: 
This is actually related to my reply to Tim Freeman. No, the idea was not
that you would not show any signs of the passage of time. The idea was 
that DEATH RATE would cease to increase with age, a very special feature.
Not only that, but the author was NOT claiming that death rate was small,
only that it ceased to increase with time ie. if you attained the age of
(say) 110, then your probability of dying at 111, 112, 120, 130, etc 
was constant.

Yes, constant. But also rather high. I'll add that this author's ideas
were based solely on considering the statistics of death rate with time,
and he argued on experimental grounds that we didn't really know just 
how it changed (if it did) at high ages. The obvious problem in practice
is that death rate is high at high ages, and alone this doesn't mean
very much. It DOES suggest, however, that if we found some way to 
bring people of 100 up to the same level of self-repair and health as
someone much younger, then we would have found a way to make people
live very much longer.

You'll also notice that I mention self-repair here. Normal objects, the
kind that we make right now (TVs and cars and furniture), have no ability
at self repair. They consequently show signs of wearing out. However 
people have done statistics on just when (say) a TV has a final
irreparable breakdown, and the rate of breakdown with time is FIXED. That
means that our TVs do not AGE. They AGE if their rate of breakdown
increases with time (in human beings, the increase starts about age 30).
Unlike any object now made, we CAN do some self-repair, but that ability,
too, falls off as we age. If we did not age, and our ability at self
repair remained fixed at some very low level, then we would definitely
show the signs of random damage over time, but our death rate would be

You may even have noticed this yourself. When we ask for immortality it's
far from sufficient to simply do away with aging. We need also to have
lots more means (external, most probably, but internal too) of self repair
and resistance to damage. That is the origin of those calculations which
suppose that we did not age and then work out (on various assumptions)
that our average lifespans will be (say) 600 years, or whatever. 

I hope that this explains the issue and the problem.

			Best and long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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